Friday, 5 June 2015

forty winks

Sleep. Catching some z's. Forty winks. 

For me, sleep is crucial. If I'm lacking sleep and I can almost guarantee to get ill, see my stress levels rocket and generally turn into a bit of a monster. Since I was little I've relied on getting a good eight hours - I was always the kid who was in bed by seven o'clock whilst everyone else was out playing... thanks Mum! Whilst I hated that growing up, today know that it's key to my overall health and wellbeing.

The science bit: why a lack of sleep really is detrimental to your health. 
According to the NHS, one in three British adults suffer from a lack of sleep. It can heave serious effects on your health and make you more susceptible to conditions such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. It can also have perhaps a more obvious and immediate impact on things like focus and temper. An early night seems a little bit more appealing now, hey?!

I don't know about you but one of the biggest problems for me is switching off. If I've worked late, exercised, had a coffee or two too many in the day or am worried about something, the chances of me drifting off peacefully are pretty low. Throw the constant distraction of an iPhone into the mix and it's a recipe for disaster! I'll say the obvious - put the phone down. Read a book. Do some meditation. Have a relaxing bath. Get into a routine. The lovely folks at Hilary's have put together a whole load of sleep tips to help you drift into the land of nod swiftly, and hopefully get better quality sleep whilst you're at it. 

One thing I read time and time again is the importance of getting morning daylight to help waking up naturally. Serotonin boosting goodness. In recent weeks I've been waking up feeling more refreshed - possibly due to a more relaxing period at work, but most definitely helped by the early sunrise. To me there is nothing more depressing and difficult than waking up in the dark.  

When struggling with my sleeping patterns a year or so ago, a friend recommended I try a Lumie BodyClock* - they replicate sunrise and sunset and help waking during those oh-so-difficult dark mornings. Of course, at this time of year the majority of us don't need to replicate sunrise - at the moment sunrise starts before 5am, when I am more than happy to be asleep still! I'm so looking forward to testing the sunrise setting out in the darker months and seeing if it improves that 'morning, already?!' feeling. But for now I've been enjoying the sunset setting - shutting my curtains and popping on a slow sunset sequence. I can read a few chapters of my book with the light slowly dimming, naturally tuning my brain into sleep mode and helping me switch off. 

So what can you expect to notice when your sleep improves? Good news - the list is pretty extensive! Improved immune system, mood, focus, sex-drive, mental wellbeing, memory, creativity, ability to deal with stress ...even an increased life expectancy. And for those of you who are, like me, trying to shed some pounds there is lots of evidence suggesting sleep makes weight-loss easier and more effective. Sleep to help weight loss? I'll take that!

What are your top sleep tips? 

This post contains a sponsored link which I was reimbursed for. All thoughts my own!


  1. I'm always looking for tips to get a better nights sleep. It just feels so lush waking up feeling one hundred percent refreshed! I find it so difficult to turn off my phone or laptop though!
    I've recently downloaded an app called "rain" and listening to gentle summer rain really helps me to relax and drift off. Really keen to try a sleep inducing pillow spray too!
    Rosie x

  2. I've always wanted to try the Lumie clock, i've heard good things about it too, and my sleeping is terrible!

    Lizzy from Nomad Notebook

  3. I've looked into getting one of these but I'm still deliberating at the moment. I've seen mixed reviews on this but it does look very sleek and would look great in my room. Anything that will give me better sleep and wake me up gently in the early hours of the morning gets a huge tick from me.

  4. I try to swap my phone/laptop/ipad for a book when I go to bed. I know it still stimulates my brain but I find it's easier to drift off after reading a few pages over scrolling through instagram!

    Leanne x

    Fancy a read? Check out my latest post Visiting Liverpool City

  5. Sleep for me is the key for my health too, both mental and physically. I meditate every night before going to bed and that is my secret to a good, well rested night of sleep.
    I've been wanting to get a clock like this for a long time now, I'll definitely check their website! Great post! xxx

  6. A good night's sleep ALWAYS makes me feel better, turning off my computer and curling up with a book definitely helps me relax...

    Maria xxx


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